SC directs NAB chief to furnish his letter's copy
31 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered National Accountability Bureau Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari to submit on Thursday (today) an authentic copy of the letter he wrote to President Asif Ali Zardari.
The NAB chairman had in the letter complained that the Supreme Court was unnecessarily pressurising the NAB officials in investigations related to high profile matters, especially the rental power projects case. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry hearing the case about the non-implementation of its March 2012 judgement in RPPs case sought the letter and asked the NAB chairman to disclose the authorities to whom it was sent.
During the hearing, the chief justice observed that democracy in the country was due to the resistance of superior judiciary. "On 3rd November 2007 we have not allowed the Martial Law Administrator (MLA) to interfere in the affairs of the apex court. We did not tolerate interference from a person in the uniform then how we can allow the NAB chairman to do so?" he asked.
The chief justice said that "as long as the courts are working under the constitution, no pressure and interference would be allowed, and if the courts are not working in accordance with the constitution then abolish them". NAB Prosecutor General KK Agha apologised to the court for the absence of the NAB chairman during the hearing on Wednesday. The chief justice inquired from him whether the NAB chairman had sent a letter to the authorities expressing reservations over the judiciary.
"We are working under the constitutional scheme," Justice Iftikhar said, adding that the case was pending before the court and writing of such a letter was tantamount to obstruction in the court's work. "Since morning till evening we have been hearing different cases," the chief justice said, and added that the letter aimed at pressurising, criticising and bringing hatred to the court. He further said that the court had announced the judgement in the RPPs case in March 2012 and now wanted its implementation.
Justice Iftikhar said that the court would examine the contents of the letter to determine the reasons that led Bokhari to draft it. The court issued written orders to authorities to submit a verified copy of the letter and determine, and inform the court as to how it was released to the media. The hearing of the case was adjourned until today (Thursday). In his letter, the NAB chairman has said that if the concerns regarding the Supreme Court were not addressed expeditiously then he would be forced to resign.
It must be noted that NAB and the Supreme Court have seen confrontation on several issues since March 2009. The court has already removed two NAB chairmen and two prosecutors general through its judgements in the last three years. It has been witnessed that the clash between the bureau and apex court resumed in July 2012, when the NAB started investigation in Arsalan Iftikhar case and issued several notices to the Supreme Court Registrar in the matter, but the court suspended the NAB's investigation and formed a one-man commission to probe the case involving the chief justice's son.